Josiah Wise (born July 9, 1988), known professionally as serpentwithfeet, is an experimental musician based in Brooklyn
, New York City. Wise released the EP
''Blisters'' in 2016, his debut studio album ''soil
'' in 2018, his second EP ''Apparition'' in 2020, and his second studio album ''Deacon
'' in 2021.
Wise was raised in Baltimore
, Maryland. He grew up amongst a religious family; his father owned a Christian bookstore and his mother was a choir director
. Wise joined the church choir as a child and grew up with classical and gospel music
as a primary influence.
When he was 11 years old his mom asked him if he wanted to audition for the Maryland State Boys Choir and he refused so she signed him up anyways and he ended up loving it.
This was his introduction to classical vocal music. He realized from this experience that there was a lack of diversity in the choir and there was "not much room for the black voice."
He attended high school at Baltimore City College, which is a school for gifted and talented students and was known for their internationally competitive choir. At the age of 14, he competed in choir competitions with his school choir in Europe and won trophies. He said in an interview with Loud and Quiet, "It was all black kids, but our repertoire was predominantly classical. And that blew my mind." After this, Wise decided that he wanted to become a world-class performer and he started taking vocal lessons to become a classically trained opera singer.
He later moved to Philadelphia
, where he attended the University of the Arts
. Although Wise was initially interested in becoming a classical opera singer, he was rejected from conservatories he applied to.
After leaving the University of the Arts, Wise spent time in Paris and in Philadelphia's neo-soul
scene. However, his voice was seen as closer in tone to opera than to his peers in neo-soul. Wise then moved to New York, where he released his first single "Curiosity of Other Men" in 2014.
The song led to Wise's eventual signing with Tri Angle Records
in 2015 and the release of Wise's debut EP, ''blisters'', in 2016. The EP featured production from The Haxan Cloak
, who has worked with artists including Björk
and The Body
. ''blisters'' debuted to extremely positive reviews from critics.
Wise began work on his debut studio album ''soil
'' in 2017 with producers including Clams Casino
, Katie Gately, and Adele
collaborator Paul Epworth
. The album was released on June 8, 2018, to positive reviews from critics.
In 2017, Wise went on tour with the band Grizzly Bear
as their opener. In the BROCKHAMPTON
, Serpentwithfeet features on the song "Tonya", which was first performed live on the ''The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
''. He appeared on a remix of Björk's "Blissing Me
", and performed in concert with Björk on her 2019 Cornucopia tour
. In 2019, he also served as the opening act in selected dates of Rosalía
's El Mal Querer Tour
On June 26, 2019, he released a song "Receipts" which featured Ty Dolla Sign. In 2020, he was featured in a track titled "Start" in Ellie Goulding
's fourth studio album ''Brightest Blue
'', and collaborated with Ty Dolla Sign again by singing background vocals and writing on Ty Dolla Sign
’s song "Ego Death
", a collaborative track with Kanye West
, FKA Twigs
, and Skrillex
, and additionally appeared on an interlude on Ty Dolla Sign's 2020 album, ''Featuring Ty Dolla Sign
On March 30, 2020, he released the single "A Comma" in collaboration with Adult Swim
. He also announced his upcoming EP "Apparition", via Secretly Canadian
On April 29, 2020, following "A Comma", he released the EP "Apparition" this EP is made up of three songs including his single "A Comma", "This Hill", and "Psychic", via Secretly Canadian
On January 8, 2021, he was featured in Virgil Abloh
's single titled "Delicate Limbs".
In January 2021, Serpentwithfeet announced his second studio album ''Deacon
'', and release the lead single "Fellowship", co-produced with Sampha
and Lil Silva. The album released on March 26.
Wise is gay
and from a young age used gospel music to express his sexuality.
* 2013 ''Gifts for Shitenno''
* four ethers (November 17, 2016)
* cherubim (May 2, 2018)
* bless your heart (May 7, 2018)
*Fellowship (January 25, 2021)
Category:American experimental musicians
Category:LGBT people from Maryland
Category:LGBT African Americans
Category:LGBT singers from the United States
Category:Musicians from Baltimore
Category:University of the Arts (Philadelphia) alumni
Category:Secretly Canadian artists